DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 02: Carson Hocevar, driver of the #42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet, waits on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 02, 2023 in Darlington, South Carolina.
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Carson Hocevar Receives Praise From NASCAR Hall of Famer

NASCAR Truck Series driver Carson Hocevar is drawing interest from one of the sport's biggest legends in Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title contender Carson Hocevar has had plenty of different opportunities in 2023, but this past weekend at Darlington Raceway might have been the best moment so far for the 20-year-old Michigan native.

Hocevar was behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet for Legacy Motor Club in Sunday's Southern 500 at Darlington, and he had a great night. He got the second-highest finish — 17th — for the car and team of the whole season.

The No. 42 car has seen several different drivers behind the wheel since the suspension and later removal of Noah Gragson as the car's driver. Hocevar was the latest driver and made just his second-ever Cup start.

His performance on Sunday caught the eye of team owner and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who gave Hocevar a shoutout after Hocevar not only finished 17th but also completed all 500 miles at the "Too Tough to Tame" track.

The way he was able to keep his nose clean could pave the way to get a possible Cup ride for next season. Yeah, he is only 20 years old, but he certainly has shown real talent. And he might be someone a smaller team could take a chance on in the Cup Series and turn into a real star.

Johnson posted a simple message on X thanking Hocevar for his efforts.

"Well done, thank you (Carson Hocevar)," Johnson said.

Could he be the next driver of the No. 42 car for Legacy Motor Club in 2024? Time will tell. The team is making a switch to Toyota for next year, so that might not be Hocevar's possible landing spot in the Cup Series, as he has driven for Chevrolet throughout his entire truck series career.

He does have a couple more opportunities to further prove his worth, with starts at Kansas and Bristol in the next couple of weeks.

No matter what team Hocevar ends up at, it is clear he belongs in the Cup Series, and this seems to be the perfect audition.

MORE: Jimmie Johnson Reacts to NASCAR Hall of Fame Selection